Brief aside: much like I struggled to become accustomed to using wedding-related terms (“our wedding,” “my fiance,” “our big day,” “his wife”), I get tongue-twisted when faced with baby-related terms, much to the chagrin of my mother.
“Please quit calling the baby – YOUR baby – a monster! It’s just not nice!”
“But I’m saying our little monster, Mom.”
I’m working on it in my head, I promise, and any day now I might be able to say, “my sweet baby boy” without blanching.
We’ve known what we’d be naming this kiddo since we found out he was a boy. My husband is a Jr., so it seemed natural – and easily agreed upon – that we’d name the baby after him. He’ll be a III.
We haven’t figured out what to call him, though. We could go with “James,” which will be his given name, but neither of us is really into that idea. We could roll with any of the various James-related nicknames a la Jim or Jimmy. We could call him Jay, which was my first preference and still a strong possibility.
But the names are all so… white! (Ahem, caucasian.) Bear with me if I take a quick trip into semi-non-political-correctness….
My child’s formal name will give no indication that his mother is Hispanic. I’m mostly at peace with that. Mostly. I’ve always wanted to name my kids in a way that would be pronounceable by Spanish speakers, even if my Spanish-speaking grandparents are no longer alive. (Try saying “Desiree” with a Spanish accent, I dare you. My poor abuelita – grandmother – never could get it right, so she just gave the little girl a nickname.) If he were a girl, we’d agreed on names with sentimental ties to my family; as a boy, we’d both long assumed he’d take my husband’s name. Eventually this kiddo’s given name will cease to make me imagine him as an infant in a tweed coat with leather elbow patches. Right? Right?
Though my last name is pretty Caucasian now, my first name (Marisa) will always give some indication of my background.
So while I don’t want to call my son something totally unrelated to his given name, we’re strongly considering the possibility of nicknaming him after my brother and father (“Rudy”) despite being named after my husband and his father (“James”). Another option? My husband can’t help but want to call him Leon (Spanish pronunciation with emphasis on the “o”), my grandfather’s name, but he’d inevitably be called LEEon and I’m not a fan.
Either way, the clear benefit would be some tie into my family, though the name isn’t particularly Hispanic. The downside? Poor kid would be called a name wholly unrelated to his real name. (“Rudy, your real name is James? What sense does that make?”)
My husband – who is named “James” but goes by “Joey” – assures me this is no big deal, but the inner judgmental me who long declared annoyance at people who misspelled their kid’s names “so they’re unique” (and really just saddled the poor kid with having to forever correct misspellings) is having a hard time.
Am I really considering assigning two names to my child that are unrelated? Yes, yes, I am.
Am I a bit uncomfortable at the whole idea? Yes, yes I am.
I think this might be more acceptable in the South where people are more likely to be called by their middle names than anywhere else I’ve been. It might also be more okay because of my husband’s name-nickname mismatch. Or maybe it just seems okay because I’m looking for a brilliant solution that makes everyone happy, myself included? I don’t know anymore.
So for now, we’ll stick to calling him “our little dude,” or “Kicky McKickerston.”
Ooh, or Indiana, so then we’d be naming our kid after our dog who was named after a character in a movie who was nicknamed after his dog! So meta, I love it. Unfortunately, nobody else does, luckily for my son. Ha.